The Obama administration is wasting no time in showing support for the new government forming in Ukraine. The State Department has announced that Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will visit Kiev, Ukraine on a February 25 to 26 trip that will include a stop in Istanbul, Turkey, as well. Burns plans to meet with acting President Turchynov in addition to various civic, business and political representatives. The portion of the press release relating to Ukraine reads as follows:
In Kyiv, [Burns] will consult with key Ukrainian leaders, the business community, and civil society on U.S. support for Ukraine’s efforts to secure a stable, democratic, inclusive, prosperous future. He will also honor the memory of the victims of the tragic events of last week. He will meet with a range of political, business, and civil society representatives, including Acting President Turchynov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, and will urge the new government to take all steps necessary for free and fair presidential elections in May. He will urge the rapid formation of a national unity government that represents the wide array of stakeholders in Ukraine’s domestic political discourse, and encourage immediate steps to undertake the critical reforms necessary to restore Ukraine’s political and economic health. The Deputy Secretary will be accompanied by representatives of the Department of the Treasury and the National Economic Council, who will work in concert with partners such as the EU and the IMF to discuss needed financial support while a new government implements the difficult steps necessary to reform the economy. The Deputy Secretary will encourage all Ukrainians to continue their efforts to write a new chapter in their history that leads to a Ukraine that is democratic, sovereign, prosperous, and free to choose its own future.
Russian prime minister Dmitri Medvedev has reportedly referred to the changes underway in Ukraine as an “armed mutiny.”